In the earliest days of Summer travel planning, expect mobile devices to be generating a larger share of activity. That’s because mobile devices, especially smartphones, are a key tool for travelers during the early stages of planning a trip. Mobile is also an important channel used to find things to do once a traveler has arrived at their destination.
While 41% of all visits to travel sites occur on a mobile device, travel searches are even more likely to begin on a smartphone or tablet. Mobile is more important in the early planning stages and once travelers have left home, while desktops become more important as consumers begin researching specific destinations and actually book their travel plans. For instance, 44% of visits to Destination and Accommodation sites are from a mobile device, but 58% of all searches that result in a visit to a destination or accommodation site originated on a mobile device. Searches that include general terms like “deal,” “last minute” or “all-inclusive” all skew more heavily mobile. But once would-be travelers begin to focus on specific airlines, hotels or car rentals, mobile takes a back seat.
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Many European destinations are taking a hit with Budapest and Paris among those losing the greatest share of search share. Important to point out though is the fact that London is one of the few European spots to not only maintain, but grow its share of travel searches in the last year. Domestically, Panama City has seen a large decline in search share as the once popular Spring Break destination cools off.
Searches for “vacation” peak twice during the year. First, in January just when the holidays are over there is a sharp increase in vacation-related searches. Secondly, there is a steady increase as summer approaches beginning in May and peaking in August when Americans are making last minute plans. As such, marketers need to ramp up summer travel campaigns during the month of May to reach early planners.
This analysis was conducted using data collected from the Hitwise panel of 10 million online Americans, including 3.5 million mobile devices. The data provides in-depth insights into the travelling public’s interests, intents and motivations based on their online visits and searches heading into the Summer travel planning season, which typically begins during the month of May.
Download the full Summer Travel Inspire for more findings.